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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Somm-o-logue – Apple butter for cocktails


The following recipe for Oktoberfest Apple Butter took me several attempts and years to perfect. I like to use many apple varieties in the mix, especially utilizing ones that are more acidic, like Granny Smith. The recipe is geared toward applications in cocktail making.

jugglin applesRetrieve a large stock pot. Core and slice a peck of assorted apples (10 to 20 pounds), leaving the skins on, and place them in the stock pot. Cover them with equal parts apple cider and water. Then add a couple bottles of Oktoberfest beer, a few cinnamon sticks and a cup of apple cider vinegar.

Let the apples and liquid come to a simmer and cook until fork tender. Strain the apples, reserving the cooking liquid and process the apples through a food mill. The leftover liquid makes good hot cider.

Remove the skins, measure the resulting pulp and place back into the stock pot. For every cup of apple pulp add a half cup of granulated sugar. Stir until everything is dissolved. Add cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice to taste. Utilize a Microplane to grate the baking spices fresh and add just a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture down stirring every few minutes until it caramelizes and becomes thick—this will take a few hours. It will become harder to stir and a rich golden brown color.

Store the apple butter in sterilized Mason jars. It will last a few months refrigerated and six months frozen. I like to use it for winter cocktails. It makes a great base for Hot Toddies, whiskey cocktails and as a condiment for toast and cheeses.

For a hot toddy, add a couple heaping tablespoons of the apple butter to a cup of boiling water, a measure (two ounces) of whiskey and garnish with a lemon twist.

You don’t have to use any beer or vinegar, but it will greatly enhance the apple flavors.

Timothy Penick
Timothy Penickhttp://www.sommologue.blogspot.com
Timothy Penick is a classically trained sommelier and writes about food,drink and wine from Naperville, Ill.